Friday, December 03, 2010

What is Catherine Gildiner reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Catherine Gildiner, author of the memoirs Too Close to the Falls and After the Falls.

Her entry begins:
I just reread David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I read it in high school but a friend of mine writes Victorian mysteries and he was saying that rereading Dickens helped him to create character. I remembered Peggoty and all the characters from the book for so many years I decided to reread it. I wanted to figure out how Dickens could make a memorable character in just a few lines. I loved rereading the book from the point of view of the writer. Once a character is created he never steps out of character. No matter how good or bad he becomes you understand his core. I am now rereading all of Dickens. I am now a bit stuck on...[read on]
Among the praise for After the Falls:
"At age 12, Gildiner and her family moved from their Niagara Falls home to a Buffalo suburb, leaving behind a family business, smalltown contentment, and the rebellious childhood chronicled in her first memoir, Too Close to the Falls. While her uprooted parents struggle to adjust, Gildiner stumbles in making new friends and edging into puberty. Her restlessness and a fundamentally outspoken and argumentative nature regularly catapult her further than simple teenage trouble, and she frequently fails at the standard American girlhood, often with comic results. The conflicts between the narrator's individuality and conformity propel her into her first relationship at the same time that the seismic shifts in American society, culture, and politics hit home with ever-increasing force. On the page as in life, comedy, tragedy, and elegy live right on top of each other, and as with most remarkable memoirs, the straightforward, honest voice and perspective are steady even in the most painful moments."
Publishers Weekly

"Gildiner's a terrific character who's led a fascinating life. Oh, yeah, and she can write."

"Hard to put down. . . . One quickly feels an empathy and fascination with this frank girl whose radically changing life plunges her back and forth between child and adult several times. It's no surprise she became a clinical psychologist."
Winnipeg Free Press
Visit Catherine Gildiner's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: After the Falls.

Writers Read: Catherine Gildiner.

--Marshal Zeringue